"We white members believe that as part of our agenda for reconciliation for the overwhelming oppression of two hundred years and in order that our black members might feel completely trusting, white culture should take a subsidiary role in our worship." - James Ward, Reformed Worship Magazine March 1987.
This statement reflects how I was mentored in the process of reconciliation in worship music. It is a huge part of what has defined the sound of New City Fellowship worship services. It's one of the reasons that NCF churches can feel so incredibly different from their sister churches in the denomination.
There's a few phrases that I particularly like. One is "We white members believe" which reflects a choice to show love, a willing desire to set aside one's preferences in order to reconcile. I also like "in order that our black members might feel completely trusting." Notice that he didn't say "comfortable" or "relevant" or something like that. We are not about making people comfortable; that's not going to happen in a multicultural context. Our desire is that the church become a place where prejudice, fear, and bitterness can be replaced with trust. Good word.
So, what do you think?
Is this Ronald Regan-era statement something that should still define our reconciliation agenda in the age of Barak Obama?
How does this process expand to include the cultures of immigrants and refugees?